Sopore reels in darkness

Sopore reels in darkness

Stick to power curtailment schedule: Residents appeal PDD

Sopore: Ahead of the chilly winter months, this north Kashmir town and adjoining areas are facing long power cuts, even in metered areas.
“During the last week, we have seen unscheduled power cuts in metered and non-metered areas, in complete violation of the curtailment schedule announced by the Power Development Department,” Ghulam Ahmed, a resident of Sopore said.
Just when the valley was going into a cold spell, the unscheduled curtailment plan by the PDD has angered many residents. Even the metered areas are not being spared, with the department enforcing long power cuts in these areas.
Residents of Arampora say that curtailment of electricity has increased in the past two weeks. Mohammad Aslam of Noorbagh said that the problem intensifies in the evening as the area is in complete darkness for several hours. “We understand that the demand is high during winter, but the PDD has nothing to offer to its consumers except excuses,” he said.
Residents of Khankah Mohalla, Badambagh, Ashpeer, New Colony, and Iqbal Nagar, where the PDD has installed meters, say that PDD’s policies were “discriminatory”. “Long power cuts that started in October mean that the winter months would be harsher,” said Abdul Satar, a resident of Ashpeer Colony.
With the demand of power in Kashmir expected to peak to 1700 MWs in winter, the valley gets close to 1200 MWs, resulting in power curtailments. According to the schedule, the metered areas are subjected to a few hours of power cuts daily. However, the department has resorted to widespread power curtailment that exceeds the scheduled curtailment. The situation is much worse in non-metered areas.
PDD officials say that consumers should make judicious use of electricity to avoid long power cuts. “We have noticed instances of power thefts and use of heaters and boilers by the consumers, that cause the overloading. People should use electricity in a proper way. We will ensure that such instances don’t happen. Various measures have been taken by the power department in this regard,” a PDD official said.
Senior Engineer in Power Development Department said that the department received the updated curtailment schedule on Tuesday. “We will definitely try to follow it in coming months,” he said.
He added that the problem of unscheduled power cuts will be overcome when the Lower Jhelum Powerhouse begins generating energy.


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